These treats from my book, Candy Aisle Crafts, are a great use for leftover candy canes and peppermint candies. Two of these crafts involve melting candy in the oven. The hot work of shaping and cutting should be done by an adult.
Triangle Tree Pops
Making these Triangle Tree Pops is a fun way to experiment with using partially melted candies, whole candies, and crushed candies to make different textures and patterns. You can even add an unmelted "tree topper," as seen on the solid green tree.
- Unbleached parchment paper
- 4 to 5 hard candies for each pop (I used spearmint Starlight mints, green apple and blue raspberry Jolly Rancher hard candies, and clear crystal mints)
- Resealable bag and hammer or metal spoon, for crushing candies (optional)
- Clean scissors or kitchen shears
- Sticks (lollipop sticks or wooden skewers with the pointy end cut off)
1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with small pieces of parchment paper, one for each pop.
2. Optional: Crush candies by placing them in a resealable bag and hitting them with a hammer or the back of a metal spoon.
3. On one piece of paper, arange four or five candies to form a rectangle. (For the partially melted Starlight mint pop, position four together to make a square, and center another candy at the top.)
4. Place in the oven for 5 to 9 minutes, depending upon how melted you would like your candy. Remove and let cool for 1 minute.
5. Using oven mitts, take the candy, still on the parchment paper, off the baking sheet, and cut it into a triangle or tree shape with scissors, as shown. You can cut through the candy and parchment paper at the same time. (Be careful, the candy will still be very hot!)
6. Return to the baking sheet. On a new piece of parchment, push in a stick and twist to coat with candy. If it needs smoothing, return it to the oven for about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Peppermint Bark Dots
These peppermint bark dots are inspired by classic peppermint bark and these fruit- and nut-studded chocolate discs called "mendiants." They make a yummy gift or party favor. A 4-ounce chocolate bar will make about eight to nine 2 1/2" dots. One candy cane (or two peppermint candies) will make enough crushed candy topping for each bar.
- 2 candy canes or 4 peppermint candies
- Resealable bag
- Hammer or metal spoon
- 2 white chocolate bars, 4 ounces each
- 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil (optional)
- Waxed paper
1. Crush the peppermint candies by placing them in a resealable bag and hitting them with a hammer or the back of a metal spoon.
2. Break the chocolate into somewhat even pieces and place in a double boiler. When the chocolate is almost melted, turn off the heat and stir until the chocolate is fully melted. Add up to 1/4 teaspoon of oil, if needed, to thin the chocolate.
3. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Spoon mounds of chocolate about 1 1/2" in diameter onto the waxed paper, leaving 2" between them. When you have filled the baking sheet, give it a little smack on the counter to smooth and flatten the mounds. Sprinkle the tops with crushed candies.
4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to harden. Store in an airtight container, separated by layers of waxed paper, in the refrigerator.
Candy Cake Topper
This candy message is an easy cake topper and, alternatively, can be used on top of frosted brownies or cupcakes.
- Unbleached parchment paper
- 3 candy sticks (plus more in case of breakage)
- 3 starlight mint candies
1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut the candy sticks into pieces to make the three Hs. Place the pieces on the baking sheet in as close to an H-shape as possible and place in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 seconds. Gently (and carefully -- it will be HOT!) push the pieces together to adhere. Return to the oven for 1 minute. Remove, and after 30 seconds, gently press the pieces together to strengthen the bond. Let cool.
4. To make the Os, place 3 Starlight mints on the parchment-lined baking sheet and heat in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, until they have softened and spread slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool.
I hope you have a sweet holiday!! What will you make out of peppermint candies?